Weird History The Worst U.S. Presidents  

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Originally by Ranker Community
785.3k votes 85.4k voters 1M views 44 items

List Rules The U.S. presidents whose administrations were the worst-run, most ill-fated, or most corrupt.

The worst U.S. presidents of all time, measured by their negative impact on the nation, its citizens health and happiness, and its future prosperity. (In some cases – such as the popular selections of Warren G. Harding and Richard Nixon – the negative view of the president and his administration is due to various scandals and perceived corruption within its ranks. Nixon, of course, remains the only president to step down from the office amidst threats of impeachment.)

Much of a president's job – including serving as the figurative head of the American state and setting the nation's general legislative and diplomatic agenda – is sort of intangible and hard to evaluate in strict "good vs. bad" terms. This makes any list of the "best" or "worst" US presidents essentially subjective, and though there were administrations with a significant series of positive or negative outcomes, it's rarely clear just how much these had to do with the person in office and how many were simply due to accidents of fate or circumstance. Nonetheless, in particularly extraordinary cases – such as the administration of Abraham Lincoln, which kept the nation intact during the Civil War crisis, or the administration of Andrew Johnson immediately after that threatened the entire success of the Reconstruction project – it is clear which presidents did an overall good or bad job.

So who were the worst presidents of all time? We're ranking them here, based on your votes! When you've had enough political negativity, be sure to check out Ranker's ultimate uplifting presidential list: The Best US Presidents.
Andrew Johnson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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1 22,217 VOTES

Age: Dec. at 67 (1808-1875)

Birthplace: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America

12,482 9,735
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Woodrow Wilson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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2 20,376 VOTES

Age: Dec. at 68 (1856-1924)

Birthplace: Virginia, United States of America

10,718 9,658
Was he the worst?
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Bill Clinton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
Photo: via Wikimedia Commons
3 44,637 VOTES

Age: 73

Birthplace: Hope, Arkansas, United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

24,233 20,404
Was he the worst?
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Barack Obama is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst U.S. Presidents
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4 75,012 VOTES
grelaoer added

Age: 58

Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America

Party (if partisan): Democratic Party

43,432 31,580
Was he the worst?
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